cray·​fish | \ ˈkrā-ˌfish How to pronounce crayfish (audio) \

Definition of crayfish

1 : any of numerous freshwater decapod crustaceans (especially families Astacidea, Cambaridae, and Parastacidae) resembling the lobster but usually much smaller

Illustration of crayfish

Illustration of crayfish

crayfish 1

Examples of crayfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Minnows must be purchased from the concessions building, and the use of live crayfish is prohibited. Jessi Virtusio,, "Get hooked on fishing starting with Monee program," 6 May 2021 The state has more than 60 species of crayfish, 13 of which are found only in Arkansas. Ashton Eley, Arkansas Online, "Arkansas scoured for hidden caves and secrets within," 5 Apr. 2021 The bald eagle, osprey, beach mouse, gopher tortoise, salamanders, freshwater mussels, crayfish and darters are among them. al, "Alabama’s environment is in good shape and getting better," 21 Jan. 2021 Urban development has wiped out their habitat, and invasive predators including crayfish, nonnative frogs and largemouth bass compete for resources and poach the quarter-sized turtle hatchlings. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Rescued pond turtles take shelter at San Diego Zoo," 29 Nov. 2020 Invasive species like bullfrogs in southern Arizona and crayfish in northern Arizona are also detrimental to the frogs’ survival, Owens said. Erin Stone, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Zoo conservation work gives imperiled Chiricahua leopard frogs a path to survival," 9 Nov. 2020 One of those, a densovirus, belongs to a class of viruses linked with lethal epidemic disease in shrimp, cockroaches, crickets, moths, crayfish and silkworms. Marion Renault New York Times, Star Tribune, "Researchers discover 'mussel-bola' as culprit in mussel die-off," 8 Oct. 2020 Metcalfe’s crayfish-and-arugula sandwich (now discontinued) changed the London lunch break forever. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "The Future of the Office Lunch," 28 Sep. 2020 The description continues, letting viewers know that, while the bear did take an interest in the pond's rubber duckies, the animal didn't bother any of the fish, crayfish, or frogs living in the pond. Kelli Bender,, "Bear Relaxes in Pennsylvania Family's Brand New Koi Pond Complete with Rubber Duckies," 14 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crayfish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of crayfish

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crayfish

by folk etymology from Middle English crevis, from Anglo-French creveis, escreveice, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German krebiz crab — more at crab

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Time Traveler for crayfish

Time Traveler

The first known use of crayfish was in the 14th century

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Statistics for crayfish

Last Updated

15 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crayfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for crayfish



English Language Learners Definition of crayfish

: an animal that looks like a small lobster and lives in rivers and streams


cray·​fish | \ ˈkrā-ˌfish How to pronounce crayfish (audio) \
plural crayfish

Kids Definition of crayfish

1 : a freshwater shellfish that looks like the related lobster but is much smaller

More from Merriam-Webster on crayfish

Nglish: Translation of crayfish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crayfish for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about crayfish

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